When a client gets a link from a powerhouse of a site, it's big deal. Links of the CNN and HuffPo variety are amazingly beneficial for increasing domain authority and they give you a decent boost in the SERPS while they are still relatively fresh.

Some SEOs like to bask in their referral traffic stats when they get a big link, but that is the last thing you should do! When you get one big newsworthy write up, that is your cue to go to work and man your link building battle stations!

Stage 1: Informing the social channels

The only time a journalist publishes something is when a story is actually newsworthy. In order to get that big link, your client had to do something worth writing about. If one person deemed it newsworthy, there are probably hundreds of bloggers who will see it as post worthy. Select relevant bloggers as targets and send out a few tasteful tweets that ask for an opinion about the article with a link to the story in question. No matter what you are writing about, there is a blogger who is covering that beat - and you can find them on Twitter. If they deem the story relevant and interesting there's a chance they will post something about it on their own site and give your client a nice little write up about their write up.

When posting about a big write up on Twitter it is extremely beneficial to use hashtags. Some people who run blogs have feeds set up to monitor certain hashtags, #WebDesign is one that has worked for me in the past. Throwing in a hashtag can sometimes get you noticed by a niche blogger and it could result in your client being featured in a round up type post.

Stage 2: Targeting Guest Posts

Its true that you can guest post any time, but you usually need a story or an angle to write about. If your client has a huge story in a major publication, that story pretty much writes itself. Now, I dont usually give away my best strategiesbut for SEP readers... I'll do anything.

First download the Scraper Chrome extension. Set your Chrome settings to display either 50 or 100 results per page (depending on how much time you have to link build). The scraper tool is easy to use and exports the results into a handy-dandy Google Doc.

Now its time to get your scrape on with these awesome guest posting search queries:

  • Keyword inurl:write-for-us
  • keyword inurl:guest-post
  • Keyword "guest blog"
  • Keyword "guest blogger"
  • Keyword "guest column"
  • Keyword "guest article"
  • Keyword "write for us"
  • Keyword "write for me"
  • Keyword "become a contributor"
  • Keyword "contribute to this site"

To use the Scraper: enter your guest posting search query into Google. Next, highlight the first result's title tag, right click and select "Scrape Similar." Now export it. Your result is an awesome list of possible guest posts! However, this is still a lot to go through, especially when time is of the essence.

To pare down the possible guest posting list, I really like to use this amazing link grading spreadsheet from Business Hut. It utilizes the SEOmoz API and you can use it to sort and target guest posts from your scraper export by order of domain authority, page authority, MOZrank, whatever your little heart desires!

SEOmoz API spreadsheet snip

When your client has a big newsworthy story that is making the rounds time is a factor, and this helps shave more than a few seconds off the clock.

3: Acquiring Guest Posts

Now its time to reach out to the sites that have desirable Moz metrics. Before you go shooting off emails asking to write for anyone and everyone, remember to explore the site in detail and determine if it's actually a good fit for you to post on. Read their writing style, check out their last few weeks of blog posts try and get an overall feel for what kind of site they are. If it seems like a good match, send them a personalized guest post request (read: no boiler plates ever, they are lazy and easily identifiable as insincere SEO copypasta). Talk about what you like about their site specifically and then politely and quickly pitch your story. Webmasters dont want to read a bible; make it short and sweet.

Over the next few days you will hopefully see your inbox lighting up with responses from webmasters. Now comes the hard part, sitting down and actually writing the content. Guest Post Pro Tip: I always write my guest posts in HTML, that way I know my links (and formatting) wont get stripped out for any reason. Content marketing is my favorite form of link building, it can help brand your business, grow your fan base and even create brand evangelists. Its tough work and time consuming, but hopefully with these tools you will be finding only the best guest posts for your link building campaigns.

Link Building Insights: